Cornell Cooperative Extension Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP)

Cornell Cooperative Extension Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP)



Cornell Cooperative Extension Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP)

2715 US Route 44
Suite 1
Millbrook, NY 12545
Program Contact: Heather Ohlson
Phone: (845) 677-8223 ext. 156
Fax: (845) 677-6563
Email: [email protected]

The Relatives As Parents Program (RAPP) was designed to encourage and promote the creation of services for grandparents and other relatives who have taken on the responsibility of surrogate parenting due to the absence of the biological parents. There are numerous reasons why grandparents and other relative caregivers are being called upon to rear children. But generally, they have one common thread: they are stepping in due to a family crisis. Relative caregivers report that they are raising children for many reasons, such as:

  • teen pregnancy
  • an adult parent’s substance abuse
  • financial problems
  • incarceration
  • death
  • homelessness
  • deployment
  • mental health issues

Coffee and Conversation Support Groups


  • In person - First Wednesday of each month at 6:00 at the Pleasant Valley Library (1584 Main Street Pleasant, NY Valley 12569)
  • Zoom meeting - Second Thursday of every month at 6:00.

Please contact Jessica Canale at [email protected] for details

RAPP provides accessible support groups and other supportive services to relative caregivers and the children in their care. RAPP focuses on the needs of a growing number of families with youth being parented by kinship caregivers, many of which are grandparents. The primary goal of the mutual support groups, or “Coffee and Conversation”, is to help the participants find an environment that provides comfort and safety for the expression of their successes and challenges as caregivers of relative children. The secondary goal is to assist caregivers to learn from and help each other (i.e. peer mentoring, informal care giving among families, etc.).

The outcomes of the support groups are to assist kinship caregivers in locating resources in the community to address financial, mental health, and legal issues; improve family relationships through access to educational resources and trainings; and for kinship caregivers to find comfort in expressing their successes and challenges in a safe and supportive environment. Twice a year the support groups will join together for special events: the winter holiday party and summer picnic. The purpose of these events is to provide encouragement and fun for kinship care families.

Youth Support groups

Provides accessible support groups and other supportive services to the youth being cared for by our RAPP participants. We provide a safe, comfortable environment where the youth can learn from each other and the programming how to be resilient and navigate the challenges of being raised as a kinship youth. The programming encourages, conversation, skill set acknowledgment and development, empowerment through community projects and opportunity for peer mentorship.

Inter-generational Activities

Inter-generational activities bring together individuals of different ages as partners to explore, study, and work towards a shared goal. These activities foster cooperation and promote interaction among generations including youth and older adults. RAPP Inter-generational activities are designed to improve family relationships, teamwork and communication. Some examples of previous RAPP Inter-generational programs are:

  • Annual RAPP Summer Picnic
  • Holiday and seasonal Intergenerational challenges: crafts and activities
  • Family Respite outings

Peer Support Group offered to caregivers.  Inquire directly with program for more information.

Serves Dutchess County.

A New York State Office of Children and Family Services Kinship Caregiver Program.

Overview of Services
November 2021 NYS Kinship Navigator Lunch and Learn Training
Click Here!

Contact Information
2715 US Route 44, Suite 1, Millbrook, New York 12545
Heather Ohlson
(845) 677-8223 ext. 156
(845) 677-6563
  • Dutchess
  • Kinship Care Services